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Afghanistan withdrawal shows 'limits of American military power’

Former New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie speaks on ABC’s This Week

Former New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie has criticized the US’ decision to withdraw its troops from Afghanistan, saying it shows “limits of American military power.”

Speaking on ABC’s This Week Sunday, the former presidential candidate offered criticism for the foreign policy decisions of past presidents, both Democrat and Republican, including former president Donald Trump, when asked about lessons the US should take from its latest decision.

“20 years … America’s longest war,” said host George Stephanopolous to Christie. “Biggest lesson learned, biggest challenge ahead?”

“Well, look. The biggest lesson learned is once again the limits of American military power. It has utility to it, but it’s not a cure-all for all our problems,” he responded.

“And we have to get much more creative, George, about our foreign policy than we’ve been, quite frankly over a number of administrations from George W. Bush through Barack Obama and Donald Trump,” he added.

The US invaded Afghanistan in October 2001 under the pretext of the so-called war on terror. The invasion removed the Taliban from power, but insecurity and violence persist to this day.

Washington has spent trillions of dollars on the war, which has left hundreds of thousands of Afghan civilians dead.

The withdrawal of US troops was initiated last year by Trump, who initially set a deadline for the pullout to complete by May 1.

However, the US started the formal withdrawal in May, with Biden confirming that the country’s military mission will end on Aug. 31, ahead of his original Sept. 11 deadline.

Some Republicans have criticized the Democratic president for the withdrawal, although Trump had brokered an agreement with the Taliban to end US involvement in the war.

Christie, a Republican, also said that presidents from both parties had overestimated the usefulness of US military might as a tool for bringing about change around the world.

He said the lesson learned from the decision was “coming” as the US had yet to see what the region will look like once the dust settles from the US pullout.

He added that he sided with Republicans who have called it a mistake to leave Afghanistan without leaving a security force behind.

That proposition was rejected by Biden who said Thursday, “I will not send another generation of Americans to war in Afghanistan with no reasonable expectation of achieving a different outcome.”

Since the pullout, the Taliban militants have intensified attacks across the country and now are saying they hold 85 percent of Afghanistan, controlling about 250 of the country's nearly 400 districts.

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